Can we extricate ourselves from Molinism?
Gregory, thank you for your kind and thoughtful reply. I truly want to learn how you understand the teaching.

(08-10-2011, 12:45 AM)Gregory I Wrote:
(08-09-2011, 05:43 PM)INPEFESS Wrote: I don't know that I agree with this. You seem to indicate, for example, that Christ's atonement brought forth an amount of grace sufficient for whole world (which implies that it is not a kind of grace; it is simply an amount), but then you say that sufficient grace itself is a specific kind of grace. What is the need to have two distinct types of grace--sufficient and efficacious--if they are one and the same thing, the former differing only in that it treats of an amount of grace "sufficient" for the salvation of all? Wouldn't it be more correct to say that sufficient grace is grace that is sufficient to yield efficacious grace when the potentiality of its sufficiency is actualized?

What I mean here is what Trent said: "But, though He died for all, yet do not all receive the benefit of His death, but those only unto whom the merit of His passion is communicated." When God makes his grace delightful for the soul, that grace is a "victorious delight." It infallibly attains its end, without compromising the freedom of choice.

So then this "victorious delight" is the end that it infallibly attains? But of what type of grace do you speak? Sufficient or efficacious? Or is there no difference? Is it only that that the amount of efficacious grace is sufficient to save all men, though only few benefit from it?

And if there is a distinction in the actual type and function of grace, what is the distinction? What is the purpose of a type of grace called "sufficient" grace? What is it's function? What is the purpose of efficacious grace? What is its function? Why is the former necessary for the latter?

Gregory I Wrote:
INP Wrote:True, all men are born with the stain of Original Sin, but, according to the teachings of the Fathers, though Original Sin is proper to each individual, there is no personal fault in Original Sin for each of Adam's descendents. Original Sin is, instead, "a deprivation of original holiness and justice" with "an inclination to evil that is called concupiscence." So we no longer have, by nature, this inclination to seek God as an effect of Original Sin, but not through any personal fault of our own. Though Original Sin produces an inclination to sin, it is not an actual sin of itself; and none are damned (to the "hell of the damned" where there is everlasting suffering) unless they have committed an actual sin. But you also seem to be saying that the only way one can be saved from this life-long propensity to sin (so as to avoid sin) is by receiving this grace of final perseverance. So what this seems to be implying is that damnation can be (or is) unconditionally active "by election". For, as I said above, the sin is a consequence of the inclination to sin produced by the effects of Original Sin. And this can only be avoided by God's movement of their will to "shun evil and do good". But if God doesn't move their will, then their personal sinfulness is not the cause of their damnation; instead, it is the lack of medicine to remedy the effects of the condition with which they are born which is the cause.

It is a Greek error to say that Original sin involves no personal guilt. Trent DIRECTLY demolishes that idea in two places.

Council of Trent, Session 6, Chapter III: "For as in truth men, if they were not born propagated of the seed of Adam, would not be born unjust,-seeing that, by that propagation, they contract through him, when they are conceived, injustice as their own,-so, if they were not born again in Christ, they never would be justified"


Again: Council of Trent, Session 5, Paragraph 3:
"3. If any one asserts, that this sin of Adam,--which in its origin is one, and being transfused into all by propogation, not by imitation, is in each one as his own, --is taken away either by the powers of human nature, or by any other remedy than the merit of the one mediator, our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath reconciled us to God in his own blood, made unto us justice, santification, and redemption; or if he denies that the said merit of Jesus Christ is applied, both to adults and to infants, by the sacrament of baptism rightly administered in the form of the church; let him be anathema."


In addition, it is now common, thanks to Vatican II, to try and foist a Greek understanding on Latins of original sin. The greek notion of the consequences of original sin is mortality. Full stop. The Greek Orthodox don't like inherited guilt. But they are deceived. For the Church of Christ, not Photius, teaches:

"2. If any one asserts, that the prevarication of Adam injured himself alone, and not his posterity; and that the holiness and justice, received of God, which he lost, he lost for himself alone, and not for us also; or that he, being defiled by the sin of disobedience, has only transfused death, and pains of the body, into the whole human race, but not sin also, which is the death of the soul; let him be anathema:--whereas he contradicts the apostle who says; By one man sin entered into the world, and by sin death, and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned.

Sir, I think you misunderstand me. Please read what I wrong very carefully because I did not state that the sin wasn't communicated to each person. In fact, I stated that it was. I disagreed only in our relationship with the sin. The effects of original sin are communicated to each person, as the Council of Trent declares. In this sense, it is personal. But we do not share in the personal fault communicated to the soul by the actual commission of the sin. We all share in their punishment, yes. We all share in the guilt of the sin, yes. But we do not share in the fault of the actual commission of the sin because we weren't even created yet. This is the distinction I tried to make.
Gregory I Wrote:
INP Wrote:But aren't there some who do not receive efficacious grace?

Is the reception of efficacious grace conditional? Is the reception of sufficient grace conditional? If the answer is "yes" to the two preceding questions, but none can be saved without the grace of final perseverance, then I think more of an explanation is in order?

What I mean to indicate here is that there are two classes of Justified People: Those who are predestined and elected to glory, having been given the gift of final perseverance, and those predestined to Justice "for a time," but who fall away. The falling away is not a failure of the intrinsically efficacious grace, rather it is on account of both the person's own sinfulness and the fact that this person is not among the elect, even though he be justified for a time.

O.K., so what you are saying here is that the loss of efficacious grace (those who fall away from justice after a time) is conditional.

But a contender would say, "But if they haven't received the grace of Final Perseverance, they will surely fall away anyway because none can be saved without this final gift to overcome the concupiscence of the flesh."

How would you respond? Would you respond: "Despite the fact that they couldn't be saved anyway without this gift, it's still on account of their sinfulness for which they are damned"; or would you respond: "Their reception of the gift of Final Perseverance is conditional upon their co-operation with efficacious grace"?

I think you would respond with something closer to the former, but I want to make sure this is what you're saying. 
Gregory I Wrote:You see, Calvin's principle error in terms of Perseverance was the belief that all who are justified are granted the gift of perseverance. He is the first to ever teach such a notion. Therefore, any who fall away, were never really saved in the first place.

Yes, I understand this much.

Gregory I Wrote:But, the Catholic church teaches that GOd has predestined some to come to him for awhile, and he has predestined some to come and persevere. What this does is it gives meaning to the word's of Paul to "make every attempt to make your calling and election SURE." It keeps us from presumption.

Well, I think the average Catholic has more of a problem with Calvin's idea that God predestines some to hell than they do with the effect of his teaching resulting in presumption.

So I think the bigger problem with Calvin's teaching is that God unconditionally selects some for damnation, whereas the Catholic Church teaches that He conditionally selects them for damnation. He simply chooses not to give many souls the gift of Final Perseverance on account of their own sinfulness.

In this way, then, souls are unconditionally elected but conditionally damned.

Is this how you understand the teaching?
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Re: Can we extricate ourselves from Molinism? - by INPEFESS - 08-10-2011, 03:49 PM



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